Friday, February 11, 2011

los does it again

I've told you before about my (web-based) friend Carlos Whitaker. He writes Ragamuffin Soul, leads worship, and rocks a v-neck. I have been encouraged, challenged, rocked by the things he says and does. My favorite thing about him is his incredible recognition of his own imperfection.

Today's post is called "God's Power, Prayer, and Paxil". I HIGHLY recommend you read it, but it made me recall my own mental health battles.

As a junior in college, I had a complete break down. I was depressed. I can word it a lot of ways and give a lot of reasons, but the bottom line is that I was clinically depressed.

My friends and family were incredibly supportive, and I've never been shy about telling people.
I do feel like there is still a moment of shock when I tell people. Because I'm a happy person, right?! and happy people aren't depressed! right?!
For me, depression had nothing to do with happiness. It was about isolation, hopelessness, and heartbreak. I could turn on the "good times" when I needed to, but those moments of true introspection always revealed my own pain.

I've not had to be on the meds for a long time now, but it is still a constant battle and awareness. I have to keep a strong check on my own emotions bc I know I can easily be back in the same place. Not that the place is bad- it's just not my desire.

I loved that Carlos talked about the fact that the church needs to change the stigma associated with mental health issues. It's not about someone's faith or prayer life- or a question on the power of God. Most people are ok with me taking asthma meds- they don't encourage me to pray more to overcome my asthma. So why is it different with mental health?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

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